Analyzing Every 2020 MLB Trade Deadline Deal: Shortened Season Didn’t Slow Down The Action

Given the nature of this season, between the shortened schedule and the COVID-19 protocols in place, it was reasonable to expect there to be little action. Of course, certain front offices didn’t get the memo, as there were a fully moves made before the trade deadline. Now that the deadline is over, I’ll offer my thoughts on each trade, before looking at the overall performances on some specific teams.

Since teams were only allowed to trade players on their 60-player pool, a lot of trades featured players to be named later. It’s obviously impossible to analyze these trades without knowing who those players are, but we’ll go through them quickly anyways.

Blue Jays Acquire SP Taijuan Walker From Mariners

Walker is a rental, and back healthy, he’s back to being a serviceable pitcher that projects to have an xFIP in the mid 4.00s. The prospect heading to Seattle is considered to be a top-30 prospect, so that seems like a lot- Toronto, due to the division they’re in, don’t accomplish much by adding rentals.

Braves Acquire SP Tommy Milone From Orioles

Call me skeptical about the idea that Tommy Milone has suddenly figured things out, considering that he had previously been one of the league’s worst starting pitchers. I don’t see him being much of an upgrade for Atlanta.

Cubs Acquire OF/1B Jose Martinez From Rays

Martinez’s lack of positional versatility never fit in with the Rays, and the Cubs likely won’t keep him beyond this year. His ability to hit lefties is a better fit for Chicago.

Cubs Acquire RP Andrew Chafin From D-Backs, RP Josh Osich From Red Sox

I’ll pair these two together since they fit a central theme. With the volatility of relievers, it doesn’t make sense to guy for high-end players, and they’re getting two quality lefties in Chafin and Osich for practically nothing. That’s good business by Theo Epstein.

Phillies Acquire RP David Phelps From Brewers

2-3 players to be named later feels like a lot for Phelps, but he’s quietly been a very productive reliever in recent years. He also has a relatively affordable $4.25 million club option for next season, so he isn’t a rental.

Rockies Acquire OF Kevin Pillar From Red Sox

Pillar presumably didn’t cost much to acquire, and he does give the Rockies a right-handed-hitting outfielder that they could use to platoon with some of their lefty hitters.

Blue Jays Acquire SP Ross Stripling From Dodgers

With multiple years of team control left, I’m a little surprised to see the Dodgers part with Stripling, so I wonder who Los Angeles will ultimately get in return. He’s a flexible weapon that fits well with Toronto’s plan to contend in the next few seasons.

Padres Acquire RP Taylor Williams From Mariners

Williams has some decent metrics, and has been a pretty serviceable reliever. He gives the Padres some nice depth in their bullpen.

White Sox Acquire CF Jarrod Dyson From Pirates

Dyson’s speed and defense make him a quality bench player, while the rebuilding Pirates had little use for him.

Mets Acquire C Robinson Chirinos and 3B Todd Frazier From Rangers

Chirinos is an upgrade at catcher to Wilson Ramos, while I’m not sure where Frazier fits. Either way, these are two minor additions that won’t move the needle much.

Now, for the trades that we can actually analyze fully:

Phillies Acquire RPs Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree From Red Sox

Photo Cred: Over The Monster

Full Trade: Phillies Acquire RP Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree In Exchange For SP Nick Pivetta and RHP Connor Seabold

Phillies: Between Workman and Hembree, the Phillies are getting about $11.7 million in value, as Workman is a rental, while Hembree will be under team control through next season. They obviously help solidify a bullpen that has struggled this season.

Red Sox: Even last year, Pivetta was a passable arm with a 4.58 xFIP, and he had a 3.42 xFIP in 164 innings in 2018. With some tweaks with his pitch usage, he can at least be a middle-of-the-rotation arm for them, while Seabold projects as a solid back-end starter.

Grades: Phillies= C-, Red Sox= A+

Workman and Hembree are decent additions, yet this feels like a massive overpay for bullpen upgrades. They’re selling awfully low on Pivetta, but the Red Sox, who need pitching help, certainly aren’t complaining; they land two young pitchers that could be a part of their rotation next season.

Rays and Royals Make Interesting Swap

Photo Cred: Royal Rundown

Full Trade: Rays Acquire OF Brett Phillips In Exchange For SS Lucius Fox

Rays: Phillips hasn’t gotten an opportunity to prove himself, but that doesn’t mean he’s a quality player. He has quality on-base skills, raw power, and elite defense. I think he may very well develop into an everyday player for them, and he’s a great buy-low addition.

Royals: That doesn’t mean Fox isn’t a tough piece to part with, though. He doesn’t have impact power, but he plays a valuable position and has strong pitch selection skills, which gives him a very high floor.

Grades: Rays= A, Royals= B+

I’m high on both of these players, but I believe Phillips has the potential to be the better player, perhaps even an All-Star center fielder, especially if the Rays can work with his swing- he hits far too many ground balls. Still, Fox is a nice addition to Kansas City’s farm system, so this is a relatively fair trade.

A’s Acquire 2B Tommy LaStella From Angels

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Full Trade: A’s Acquire 2B Tommy La Stella From Angels In Exchange For 2B Franklin Barreto

A’s: La Stella was an All Star for the Angels last season, and in 120 plate appearances this season, he’s backed up that performance with a .361 on-base percentage. With him filling a hole at second base, Oakland’s offense looks downright scary.

Angels: Barreto has really struggled throughout his early career, and his plate discipline has been atrocious. He’s a flyer as a former top prospect, but this really shows how little value rental position players have.

Grade: A’s= A+, Angels= C

I’m not a fan of Barreto, and the A’s may have just eventually cut ties with him anyways. They’re going for it this season, and La Stella will certainly make an impact.

Padres Acquire RP Trevor Rosenthal From Royals

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Full Trade: Padres Acquire RP Trevor Rosenthal In Exchange For CF Edward Olivares and PTBNL

Padres: Rosenthal had a disastrous season coming back from Tommy John surgery last year, but he had been dominant previously, and in 13.2 innings, he’s striking out batters at a very impressive rate (13.83 K/9). He’ll play a big role in San Diego’s bullpen, though he’s only under contract for the rest of this season.

Royals: Olivares was a below-replacement level player in his short stint in the majors this season, but he projects as at least a fourth-outfielder type with some intriguing skills. Meanwhile, the player to be named later is expected to be a low-level reliever, which is fine considering the volatility of those types of prospects.

Grades: Padres: C, Royals: A

The Padres are rightfully betting on Rosenthal truly being back to his previous form, but I wonder if he was worth giving up Olivares for. At the very least, saving Olivares as a greater package for a controllable player would’ve made more sense, and the Royals have to be ecstatic about their ability to flip Rosenthal, who they signed to a minor-league contract, for a legitimate return.

Padres Give Up Sleeper Prospect For 1B Mitch Moreland

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Full Trade: Padres Acquire 1B Mitch Moreland From Red Sox In Exchange For OF Jeisson Rosario and 3B Hudson Potts

Padres: In Moreland, the Padres are acquiring a veteran proven bat that has been underrated by the market in recent offseason. Although his overall numbers aren’t spectacular, he gets on base at a solid clip and hits righties well. His issue has always been a high ground ball rate, and so far, he’s increased his launch angle in sustainable fashion- he’s hitting more fly balls, rather than relying on line drives. Add in his cheap $3 million club option for next year, and it’s clear to see what the Padres like in him.

Red Sox: Regardless, Rosario is the headliner of this trade. My model believes he’s a very underrated prospect, projecting him in his peak to be the 24th most valuable prospect in baseball- his on-base skills and defense give him an exceptionally high floor, even if he doesn’t hit for any power. Potts, meanwhile, hasn’t progressed since being drafted in the first round, but he still has some raw power that could be maximized with a new team.

Grades: Padres= D+, Red Sox-= A+

I get what the Padres like in Moreland, but he’s likely a designated hitter for them with Eric Hosmer, another lefty, at first base, and they gave up an undervalued prospect in Rosario. At the same time, chief officer Chaim Bloom has to love this trade for his Red Sox, as he lands his future everyday center fielder and a bounce-back flyer for a player who plays a very limited role. This was certainly one of the more lopsided trades made this trade deadline period.

Rockies Add Bullpen Help; Acquire RP Mychal Givens From Orioles

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Full Trade: Rockies Acquire RP Mychal Givens From Orioles In Exchange For 2B Terrin Vavra, 1B/3B Tyler Nevin, and Player To Be Named Later

Rockies: With 1 1/2 years of control left, Givens projects to give the Rockies $12.5 million worth of value, though his arbitration salary next year could minimize the surplus value he provides them with. The 30-year-old has settled into a high 3.00s xFIP type of reliever that misses a lot of bats (12.29 K/9), but also has some issues with command. As a reliever who doesn’t rely a lot on his breaking ball, he’s theoretically a decent fit in the altitude, and immediately becomes Colorado’s best reliever.

Orioles: That said, Givens has underperformed recently from the Orioles, and Baltimore has still able to get a lot back in return. Vavra is already 23-years-old, but I don’t care as much about age as others (the surplus value comes from the pre-arbitration years anyways), and he projects as an everyday second baseman with on-base skills. In fact, his mean projection puts him at about a $11.5 million peak value, which would almost be as valuable as Givens’ 1.5 years with the Rockies. They’re also getting Nevin, though, who is limited but a solid all-around offensive threat, and a player to be named later.

Orioles: That said, Givens has underperformed recently from the Orioles, and Baltimore has still able to get a lot back in return. Vavra is already 23-years-old, but I don’t care as much about age as others (the surplus value comes from the pre-arbitration years anyways), and he projects as an everyday second baseman with on-base skills. In fact, his mean projection puts him at about a $11.5 million peak value, which would almost be as valuable as Givens’ 1.5 years with the Rockies. They’re also getting Nevin, though, who is limited but a solid all-around offensive threat, and a player to be named later.

Grades- Rockies= C-, Orioles= A

There’s no doubt that the Rockies overpaid for Givens. At the same time, I understand the benefits of them making the playoffs in this season, and he’s not a rental- his lack of counting statistics may also limit his arbitration salary. Baltimore, meanwhile, continues to add talent to their farm system, and, in the process, are speeding up their rebuild. Well done, general manager Mike Elias.

Padres Acquire C Jason Castro From Angels

Photo Cred: FanSided

Full Trade: Padres Acquire C Jason Castro From Angels In Exchange For RP Gerardo Reyes

Padres: With a 99 weighted-runs-created-plus this season, Castro, 33, remains an average hitter with plus defense, which makes him a top-ten catcher. With his splits versus right-handed pitching, he’ll make out the right side of a catching platoon with a player we’ll get to shortly.

Angels: It’s safe to say the Angels need any sort of pitching, and there’s a lot of upside with the 27-year-old Reyes. He had strong peripherals (13.15 K/9, 3.81 BB/9) in 26 MLB innings last year, and if he can keep his command from being a liability, has the “stuff” to be a solid reliever. In fact, an organization with out of the playoff hunt, like the Angels, are a perfect fit.

Grades: Padres= B, Angels= A

This is a great trade for the Angels, as they have a tight payroll and need any sort of pitching depth whatsoever. Generally, I’m not a fan of trading for rentals, but Reyes was in the 40-man roster crunch for San Diego anyways, and rather than eventually releasing him, general manager AJ Preller was about to patch up one of the only weak aspects of his team.

Padres and Mariners Complete Unique Blockbuster Trade

Photo Cred: Lookout Landing

Full Trade: Padres Acquire C Austin Nola, RP Austin Adams, RP Dan Altavilla In Exchange For OF Taylor Trammell, 1B/3B Ty France, C Luis Torrens, and RP Andres Munoz

Padres: Where do we start? Apparently, Nola was a hot trade commodity among “analytically-minded” organization, which makes sense. After all, he plays a valuable position, is versatile, and has strong hard-hit numbers that are being maximized with an elevated bat path. That said, he only had a .301 expected weighted on-base average last year, and San Diego may be buying too high on his limited sample size this season- his xwOBA is up to .383. Either way, though, he’ll play a meaningful role for them in his next five years of club control, and the same can be said about Austin Adams. Last season, the 29-year-old was one of the top relievers in baseball with a 2.68 xFIP in 32 innings, and although he’s currently dealing with an injury, will provide San Diego with some nice surplus value in the future should he not succumb to the volatility for relievers. Altavilla, meanwhile, is a throw-in who’ll eat some mop-up innings for them.

Mariners: The Mariners gave up a lot of years of control for the players they traded, so they were primed to get back a major haul. In Trammell, they’re getting an undervalued prospect (he’s been traded twice in the past year) who my model believes will be their most-valuable prospect, as he’s a table-setting high on-base lefty hitter with elite corner outfield defense. In fact, should he reach his peak value of around $16.5 million, he could justify this return for them one his own. Munoz, however, has the chance to be a high-end reliever that provides just as much surplus value as Adams, while France (platoon corner infield bat) and Torrens (backup catcher) are fine depth pieces.

Grades: Padres= B, Mariners= A

I’ve gone back-and-forth on this trade for a while, but I feel confident in saying that both teams did well. Based on a surplus value calculation, Seattle certainly gets the better end of this deal, but that shouldn’t discount the upside here for San Diego. In the end, I believe that it comes down to Trammell versus Nola; who is the more valuable player? Although Trammell looks like the obvious answer, if Nola’s improvements are legitimate, then it’s an even trade, and the Padres are trading some surplus value for certainty and players that fit them better. There’s not much to debate from the Mariners perspective, however, as they had little use for veterans players, and the two prospects they acquired here could be true impact pieces for their next contending team.

Padres Get Their Ace, Acquire SP Mike Clevinger From Indians

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Full Trade: Padres Acquire SP Mike Clevinger, OF Greg Allen, and RP Matt Waldron From Indians In Exchange For SP Cal Quantrill, C Austin Hedges, OF/1B Josh Naylor, SS Gabriel Arias, LHP Joey Cantillo, SS Owen Miller

Padres: The Padres wanted to land a front-line starting pitcher, and it’s safe to say they found that in Mike Clevinger. The 29-year-old posted a 3.09 xFIP and 4.5 WAR last season in 126 innings for Cleveland, and has been a workhorse for them in the past. He projects to give San Diego about $46.5 million worth of value over the next 2 1/2 seasons, which won’t be matched by his arbitration salaries. Also, although they’re mostly throw-ins, Allen is a decent fourth outfielder, while Walldron is a reliever with freaky minor-league numbers, albeit in a small sample.

Indians: The Indians didn’t a high-end prospect in this trade, but they certainly received a lot of quantity. In 103 innings last year, the 25-year-old Quantrill posted a 4.53 xFIP, and figures to be a decent back-end starting pitcher for them. Naylor, meanwhile, hasn’t produced in the majors so far but was an accomplished hitter in the past, albeit without a clear position; Hedges is a backup catcher with strong defense. As for the prospects, many believe Arias is the headliner, but he doesn’t have the plate discipline for my models to see him having much of an offensive impact. Thus, Miller is the better bet to be an everyday infielder for them, though he doesn’t have a “plus” tool is probably more of a utility player. The main piece going back to Cleveland, in my opinion, is Cantillo, who has a great changeup and command, which fits the Indians’ bread and butter for developing pitchers.

Grades- Padres= A, Indians= B-

For the Padres, this trade is a no-brainer. They’re facing a roster crunch this offseason, so I’m all for them trading quantity over quality, especially since my models don’t love Arias; there’s a chance they didn’t trade a single starting player for Clevinger. That would make it seem like I don’t like this trade for the Indians, though, which would be false. Given the uncertainty and volatility for young players, there’s a lot of logic to taking as many shots and different players as you can, especially when you have a rather thin roster. I’m certainly a little underwhelmed by this return for them, but there’s a lot of scenarios where this works out for them.

A’s Add Starting Pitching Depth; Acquire SP Mike Minor From Rangers

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Full Trade: A’s Acquire SP Mike Minor From Rangers In Exchange For CF Marcus Smith and 1B Dustin Harris

A’s: The 3.59 ERA that Mike Minor posted last year was not backed up by his peripherals, but he’s still a decent starting pitcher with xFIPs in the 4.50 range. The main intrigue with this addition for Oakland, however, are the reports that he may move back to the bullpen, where he has thrived in the past as a multi-inning weapon. At this stage of his career, I believe that’s where he’s best suited.

Rangers: Smith, a third-round pick from last year, possesses above-average contact skills and 70-grade speed, so there’s upside with him as a potential everyday centerfielder, though he’s only 19-years-old- he’s more of a flyer. Harris, Oakland’s 11th-round pick from last year, is a throw-in piece with some on-base ability.

Grades- A’s= C, Rangers= A

I didn’t expect Minor to net much in a trade at all, so to get the A’s’ third-round pick from last year, especially an athlete capable of playing a valuable position, is a pleasant surprise for Texas. From Oakland’s perspective, they probably overpaid for Minor, though I do like the thought process of moving him to the bullpen, and it’s unlikely that they ultimately will regret making this trade.

Blue Jays Take a Flyer on SP Robbie Ray

Photo Cred: Arizona Sports

Full Trade: Blue Jays Acquire SP Robbie Ray From Diamondbacks In Exchange For RP Travis Bergen

Blue Jays: With an xFIP at 6.37 and a BB/9 at 9.00, it’s safe to say that Robbie Ray has had a disastrous start to his season. At the same time, this is the same pitcher that had previously posted an xFIP below 3.80 in the four seasons prior, as his strikeout ability has mitigated his command issues. I always thought the best value was going to be had for teams who sought players who had a slow start to the season, so even though he’s a rental, I like the process here for Toronto.

Diamondbacks: The 26-year-old Bergen struggled with the Giants last season, but he’s had a lot of minor-league success with strong K-BB ratios. It appears as though he’s added more velocity with a tweaked delivery, and as Arizona takes a step back this season, he’ll essentially be able to try out for their 2021 team.

Grades: Blue Jays= A-, Diamondbacks= A-

After his poor start, Ray wasn’t going to net much back in a trade, so to get a MLB-ready lefty reliever, even if Bergen is more a fringe option, is a reasonable return. At the same time, Toronto was able to take advantage of Ray’s diminished value, as it’s not like Bergen is a piece that they’re going to fret about giving up.

Marlins Make a Splash; Acquire CF Starling Marte From Diamondbacks

Photo Cred: Yahoo! Sports

Full Trade: Marlins Acquire CF Starling Marte From Diamondbacks In Exchange For SP Caleb Smith, SP Humberto Mejia, LHP Julio Frias

Marlins: Prior to the trade deadline, it looked like the Marlins really wanted to add pieces to help their playoff run, and it’s safe to say that Marte is a major upgrade over their other outfield options. He doesn’t have great plate discipline, yet his 80-grade pure-hitting ability has allowed him to still post solid on-base percentages, while he’s a quality defender in center field. He also has a $12.5 million club option next season, though that’s higher than the $9 million my model projects him to be worth.

Diamondbacks: Smith, 29, has only pitched three innings since he’s on the COVID-19 list, and he did post a 5.05 xFIP last season. Still, he’s displayed strong strikeout ability in the past, and will hope to refine his command in Arizona- he’s their new Robbie Ray, just with three extra years of club control. Mejia, meanwhile, has pitched a little in the majors this season due to Miami’s need for any pitchers, but he had previously not played above Single-A; he’ll need to improve his control to be maximize his fastball/breaking ball combination. The same can be said about the 22-year-old Frias, who has better pure stuff than Mejia but even worse command.

Grades: Marlins= B-, Diamondbacks= A

I’m not sure Marte fits Miami’s window, but he’ll help them compete for a playoff spot this season, and they aren’t giving up a boatload in return. Smith is already 29-years-old and, as mentioned, wasn’t very productive last season, and the other two pitchers are just throw-ins. Arizona, however, gets a controllable pitcher that has some clear untapped potential, and that allows them to cycle through another quick retool phase.

Blue Jays Acquire UTIL Jonathan Villar From Marlins

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Full Trade: Blue Jays Acquire UTIL Jonathan Villar In Exchange For OF Griffin Conine

Blue Jays: Villar is a good athlete with versatility, but he doesn’t provide much else. He’s an average player at best all-around, and once Bo Bichette comes back, is just a rental role player for them.

Marlins: Strangely, Toronto had to part with a quality prospect in Conine. The 23-year-old corner outfielder has loads of raw power and plate discipline, which is a great combination; there’s a chance he can be an everyday player for Miami in the future.

Grades- Blue Jays= F, Marlins= A+

This is a small trade, yet it’s clear that the Marlins fleeced Toronto here. I don’t really get what Villar does for the Blue Jays, and it’s hard for me to imagine that he was a hot commodity that forced them to give up Conine for.

Reds Clearly Don’t Have Enough Outfielders; Acquire Brian Goodwin From Angels

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Full Trade: Reds Acquire OF Brian Goodwin In Exchange For LHP Packy Naughton and Player To Be Named Later

Reds: Considering that Goodwin projects as a player worth less than $1 million, there’s not a lot to discuss here. The 29-year-old hasn’t exactly done anything this year (.295 xwOBA) to change that opinion, and I’m not sure he’s one of the best 28 players on the Reds roster.

Angels: Naughton is already 24-years-old, but I’m already mentioned that I believe age is overvalued for prospects, and he’s a good sleeper prospect as a funky lefty with tremendous command and durability. In fact, he’ll likely step into the Angels’ rotation rather soon.

Grades- Reds= F, Angels= A

Not only do I not see where Goodwin fits with the Reds, I don’t see how he was worth trading for at all. Naughton looks like a future big-league piece, even if he’s such a swingman, and that holds more value that Goodwin’s remaining years of arbitration. Plus, there’s also a player to be named later in this deal.

Cubs Acquire OF Cameron Maybin From Tigers

Photo Cred: Toledo Blade

Full Trade: Cubs Acquire OF Cameron Maybin In Exchange For SS Zack Short

Cubs: The Cubs certainly had a need for a right-handed hitting outfielder, and Maybin is that. He hasn’t had any sort of platoon split throughout his career though, so he’s more of just a depth option than a legitimate platoon player.

Tigers: The 24-year-old Short hasn’t hit for much power or average, but his plate discipline give him a high floor as a utility player, making him a really nice acquisition for Detroit.

Grades: Cubs= D, Tigers= A+

I don’t really see a fit for Maybin with the Cubs, as Short, a middle infielder, may have been of greater use for them, especially in the future given their payroll constraints. Obviously, this is an easy decision for the Tigers; a depth outfielder and a rental in Maybin appeared likely to be had for just cash considerations, let alone a notable young player.

Reds Continue To Buy; Acquire RP Archie Bradley From Diamondbacks

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Full Trade: Reds Acquire RP Archie Bradley From Diamondbacks In Exchange For CF Stuart Fairchild and INF Josh Van Meter

Reds: Bradley has an extra year of control left after this year, and provides similar value to Givens at around $12.5 million over his lifespan as a Red. For the most part, he’s a mid 3.00s xFIP reliever who has fixed his issues with command from last year, though he doesn’t fit the Reds’ mold with below-average spin rates on his fastball. Cincinnati’s bullpen does need help, and unlike the Rockies, they’re much more likely to be a contender next season.

Diamondbacks: Fairchild, 24, is nearing his big-league debut after posting great numbers in the minors last season. He’s essentially an average player all-around, but at a thin position like center field, his mean peak projection would put him as a top-ten center fielder and worth Bradley’s years of control in just one year. Don’t sleep on Van Matter, as well; he’s a relatively disciplined hitter with some positional versatility.

Grades- Reds= C+, Diamondbacks= A

Many are surprised that Bradley didn’t net Arizona more in a trade, they’re able to land two major-league ready pieces, including a player that I like in Fairchild. Given that they didn’t have much use for Fairchild and Van Meter, this is an understandable trade for the Reds, but I’m generally going to be against trading young players for any reliever,

Mets Acquire RP Miguel Castro From Orioles

Photo Cred: Amazin’ Avenue

Full Trade: Mets Acquire RP Miguel Castro From The Orioles In Exchange For LHP Kevin Smith and a Player To Be Named Later

Mets: Still only 25-years-old, Castro has pitched well in 15.2 innings, with an xFIP of 2.60 and a 13.79 K/9. At the same time, he’s been a replacement-level reliever previously (-0.1 WAR for his career), so call me skeptical that he’s suddenly changed.

Orioles: Smith is very similar to Packy Naughton in that he’s undervalued because he isn’t flashy, yet he has performed well in the minors and doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses. He projects as a potential back-end starter in the future, which is certainly valuable (moreso than Castro), and it’s unclear who the player to be named later will be.

Grades- Mets= D, Orioles= A

Like I said, Castro is likely a below-average reliever, so it’s hard to see how he helps the Mets. At the same time, as a smart organization generally does, the Orioles are able to sell high on a reliever, and thus land a player who’ll be much more valuable. That’s really all there is to say about this trade.

Okay, so now that we’ve gone over the trades, let’s look at some central themes from this trade deadline. Rather than classifying “winners and losers”, here are overarching five takeaways from this trade deadline:

1) The Padres Aren’t Just Going All-In

Even if the Padres don’t win the World Series this year, it won’t make their trades less valuable. In Clevinger, Nola, and Adams, they dealt from their roster crunch to add controllable talent to allow them to push for championships in the foreseeable future, and honestly didn’t jeopardize their ability to win sustainably. General manager AJ Preller tends to hold out for the best value possible, and I think he had a productive trade deadline remaking this organization.

2) Chaim Bloom Really Helped The Red Sox

With a tight payroll and a barren farm system, there isn’t much optimism regarding the Red Sox’ future, but chief officer Chaim Bloom did the best he could to change that. I’ve already mentioned my model’s love for Jeisson Rosario, a future everyday center, but he also was able to acquire a quality pitcher (in a change of scenery) in Nick Pivetta and a potential back-end starter in Connor Seabold.

3) Teams Really Value a Playoff Spot

Not only did teams on the playoff fringes choose not to sell off pieces, but the Marlins, Blue Jays, Rockies, and Reds all made moves to try to secure a playoff spot. The Blue Jays, in particular, didn’t impress me at the trade deadline, as I would’ve preferred for them to target controllable players.

4) Diamondbacks Continue To Be Ahead Of The Curve

I’m a huge fan of general manager Mike Hazen, and one of his best traits is to be a realist. When the team is in contention, he makes moves to make the team better, but he always has an eye to the future. By exchanging Starling Marte, Archie Bradley, and Robbie Ray for Caleb Smith, Stuart Fairchild, Josh Van Meter, and Travis Bergen, they not only keep their team in a position to contend next year, but add a lot more years of team control. They certainly made out well at the trade deadline.

5) Teams Who Did Nothing At The Trade Deadline Are “Winners”, Not “Losers”

The Yankees, Dodgers, Twins, Braves, White Sox and Rays are not “losers” because they didn’t trade for pieces, as I’ve seen several outlets claim them to be. In this expanded playoff field, there’s a significant amount of variance that makes playoff seeding and overall talent less valuable, so there wasn’t much to gain by trading future pieces to patch any small need. On the other end, that meant that teams like the Giants, Rangers, Brewers, and Pirates were justified for not dealing some of their top players, as the offers simply weren’t going to be there. Outside of the Padres, there really wasn’t much movement, and context desperately needs to be taking into account when analyzing team’s inaction at the deadline.

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